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01-02-2013 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2013

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2013

Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study: Behavioural Problems During Childhood

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2013
Auteurs:
Janis Paterson, Stephen Taylor, Philip Schluter, Leon Iusitini

Abstract

Pacific peoples represent one of the fastest growing population subgroups in New Zealand and suffer disproportionately from diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. There is little research on the predictors of behavioral problems in Pacific children or the role that cultural variables play in shaping the unique environments in which child development occurs This study aims to examine the: (1) prevalence of behavior problems at 2, 4, and 6 years-of-age among Pacific children, and (2) relationships between maternal, cultural, and socio-demographic factors and behavioral problems. Data were gathered from the Pacific Islands Families Study. Maternal reports of child behavior were obtained using the Child Behavior Checklist for over 1000 Pacific children. The prevalence of clinical internalizing problems at ages 2, 4, and 6 years was 16.8, 22 and 8.5%, and clinical externalizing was 6.7, 10.7, and 14.6% respectively. Significant risk factors associated with clinical internalizing were maternal depression, maternal smoking, intimate partner violence, and having a single mother. Significant risk factors for clinical externalizing were harsh parenting, maternal depression, having a New Zealand born mother, and low household income. Across dimensions, a protective factor was found for children with mothers who described themselves as strongly aligned with Pacific traditions. These findings contribute to the limited longitudinal data specific to children from different ethnic groups and demonstrate the importance of cultural factors in developmental outcomes.

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